Ironman Training – Week 22 – September 23 – September 29 2019

These days it seems rare that I end up completing a week with all workouts in the green in TrainingPeaks. This weeks was not one of those weeks, but it came close. I only missed a single 30-min swim!

The highlight of the week though was my half-Ironman training session. The training plan called for me to do a Half-IM race, but since I didn’t have a race planned, I did the distances as a single training session. I had come close about a month ago, but back then, I only did a 10K run for the run segment. On Sunday I did the full distance.

I started my day by getting up at 3:30am and actually starting the swim at 4am. I wanted to get an early start to minimize the amount of time I would have to be running in the hot Texas weather. The swim went well with me averaging 2:12/100 yd. This is a pretty good pace for me for a continuous swim. For my nutrition, I ate one gel 15-mins before the swim and one once I was out of the water. My T2 involved the drive back home, but even then, it ended up being just a few seconds longer than 15 mins.

My bike split was the best part of the day. I was riding on a new frame (more on that later), but I don’t know if it was a different aero position, or better wind conditions, but I ended up riding the 56 miles in 3:01. For my ride I decided to try a different hydration strategy. I decided to try SOS Hydration which Alana has been telling me about for a while. This is one of several products that follow the WHO Oral Rehydration Therapy standard. I don’t know if this helped or if I’m just getting fitter, but I didn’t have any cramps at all during my long day. I did continue to take my salt licks every 5 miles.

I plan to continue using the SOS hydration for my upcoming long bike rides to see if it really is helping with cramping.

Unlike Gatorade Endurance, the SOS Hydration has minimal calories so the expectation is that you get your nutrition from other sources. For my training session, I went with Oreos on the bike and gels on the run.

After a 5-min T2, I started my run. This was somewhat discouraging as I was reduced to a lot of walking by the second half. Or it would probably be more accurate to say I as reduced to walking with VERY FEW and SHORT running segments. I would be surprised if my total running time for each of the latter miles was more than 2 mins in total. By the end, I was taking 16 mins to cover a mile. I did manage to complete the 13.1 miles in 3:05.

My total time for the half-Ironman training session was 7:14 including the transitions. If I double that, it would still give me an extra 2.5 hours for a full IM to slow down and make the 17-hour cutoff. I know I will slow down a lot of the full IM run so the key for me would be not slow down too much on the bike and preserve as much buffer as possible for the run.

I mentioned above that I had a new bike frame. Everyone loves getting new gear and I’m no different. One of the attractions of the new frame is that it is a true TT/triathlon frame and so it has more flexibility in seat positioning and it would allow me to get the front even lower. I rode it on Sunday with the front lower than my other bike and I may still drop it even more over the coming days and weeks.

I have some longer training weeks coming up with a few 15-hours weeks on the schedule, but this past Sunday is the longest and hardest day I would have before my IM.